American Elephants


A Real Live October Surprise! by The Elephant's Child

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 06: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks after being presented the 2013 Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize December 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. Clinton received the award for her work in the areas of women's rights and internet freedom. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Well, well—a real October Surprise. This very weird campaign has just become even more strange. Only days until the election, and FBI Director James Comey has said that they are re-opening their investigation. It appears that in the FBI investigation of Anthony Wiener’s case about sexting to an underage girl, Hillary emails have popped up on the home computer that Huma Abedin, Hillary’s top aide, shared with her (now estranged) husband. And even that may be speculation. Nobody knows anything, but there is lots of reporting.  I don’t know anything either, so I am simply speculating as well. But this is earthquake-size speculation because it deals with the election itself.

This has been an enormously difficult situation from the beginning. The Democrats’ bench of accomplished, likeable candidates is notably thin. There was Hillary whose burning desire the become the first woman president was well known. Her record as a senator and as the Secretary of State left a great deal to be desired. People kept making jokes about trying to get observers to name an accomplishment. Bill is a natural politician, and his good-old-boy, aw-shucks persona got him through all sorts of  difficulties. Hillary is not a natural politician, and she is not particularly likeable (that’s the reported reaction to her from Democrats). Democrats were anxious to find someone else but they couldn’t.

Her emails as Secretary of State have caused her major problems. It seems likely that she wanted a private server to keep from having to reveal any of her emails, and keep them away from prying eyes, undoubtedly the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” When the emails began to become public, FBI Director James Comey was put in a dreadful position. If he went after her directly because of the emails, he would be the person who decided the election in advance. In such a case, he needed a flawless, extremely strong case. It was becoming clear that new Attorney General Loretta Lynch was more an appointee of the Obama administration than she was the upstanding Attorney General of all the people. I know nothing about the pressures put on our appointed officials, let alone the elected ones. Director Comey apparently didn’t feel that he had a solid gold case for charging one of the candidates in a presidential race with a crime.

It appears that the FBI investigation into Anthony Wiener’s sexting messages to an underage girl, revealed that there were emails sent by Hillary to her top aide on the home computer that Huma Abedin shared with her (now estranged) husband.

Retired 4-star general James Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has just pleaded guilty to making a false statement in an investigation into a leak of classified information about a covert cyber-attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The offense carries a maximum of five years in prison. but the defense counsel and the government had agreed on a recommended sentence of no more than 6 months. Sentence will be decided in January.

So there’s the big question. Are our “elites” somehow above being prosecuted? Do we have different standards for “important people?” It has been reported that there has been major dissension among senior FBI agents who see the whole thing as a reflection on the integrity and honor of the agency. So, for the moment, that’s where we are.

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